Cutting the ribbon at the opening of the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center on Nov. 2, 2002 are, from left, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, Pinellas Commissioner Bob Stewart, Pinellas Commissioner John Morroni, Tom Muntz, Pinellas Commissioner Barbara Sheen Todd, Connie Kone, Kathleen Schwallie, Pinellas Commissioner Susan Latvala, Pinellas Commissioner Karen Williams Seel, Ed Hoffman Jr. and Pinellas Commissioner Ken Welch. Holding the ribbon are students from the Seminole Ahfachkee School.
ST. PETERSBURG - The public is invited to join the Friends of Weedon Island as it celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Weedon Island Cultural and Natural History Center Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Planned activities begin with opening remarks by invited dignitaries and community leaders. The featured speaker is former Pinellas County commissioner Barbara Sheen Todd who led community efforts to lease Weedon Island from the state of Florida and implement a management plan that protected the Native American burial mounds, preserved the coastal mangroves, protected the sea grass beds and maintained the indigenous flora and fauna.
Trained guides will lead a series of hikes throughout the preserve. There are hikes specially designed for families; others focus on Native American history and coastal ecology.
Arts and crafts activities, including fish printing and Play-Doh pottery, will be offered for children and adults. Videos chronicling Weedon Island Preserve’s history and ecology will be offered for viewing in the center, and a scavenger hunt will take place within the center’s exhibit areas. All guests who complete the hunt will receive prizes.
Guests will enjoy music by Native American flute players. An anniversary cake and light refreshments will be served at noon.
More information is available at www.weedon10-eorg.eventbrite.com. The Friends of Weedon Island is a nonprofit group that supports environmental preservation and education at the preserve.
Weedon Island Preserve protects more than 3,700 acres of natural ecosystems and is located at 1800 Weedon Drive NE in St. Petersburg. The preserve is operated under the Pinellas County Parks and Conservation Resources Department and is open to the public seven days a week, including holidays, from 7 a.m. to 15 minutes before sunset. Its many outdoor activities include walking trails, a fishing pier and a canoe/kayak launch.
The Cultural and Natural History Center in the preserve features the permanent exhibit, Connecting People and Place, an art-inspired, hands-on educational exhibit which reveals the area’s history, ecology and people. The center is open Thursday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed all Pinellas County holidays.